Thursday, February 28, 2008

What winter holiday?

So we headed off to Argentiere last Thursday (despite BA's best attempts to thwart our travel plans). Argentiere is part of Chamonix, near Mont Blanc in France. It is spectacular. I decided that given we were only skiing/boarding for a few days this winter, we would go somewhere that we probably couldn't afford to go for a week or two. You know what? It wasn't that expensive (for skiing). And it was just gorgeous. And sunny. Which was not so great for the snow, but fine for us - having to stop skiing due to the slush around 3pm just turns into a great excuse for early apres ski!
Anyway, some pics, just to make you jealous:
Forest snow in Argentiere; S drinking beer on our hotel balcony (you can just see the lower piste that takes you home behind him - love walking to tows from your hotel!); Argentiere glacier (from our balcony)- cool, but rapidly receding, unfortunately (again, you can see this behind S in the previous pic).

There are some actual skiing pics but they are on my phone and I can't seem to find the cable right now (there is too much washing in the house!)Anyway, not sure how I managed to get more sun skiing for three days in February than I did for most of our 'summer' holidays, but sure glad I did! Also, this was our first visit to France, and I love it. Great people, great food culture, lovely scenery. I ate and ate - onion soup, creme brulee, creme caramel, nicoise, truit muniere, too much liquid cheese (fondue, tartiflette, raclette) - mmmmm. Although now I need to eat alot of fruit to feel normal.

Also, today I got my UK Swap parcel! Thanks Monica!! It is sooooo cool, but you will have to wait until the weekend for pictures.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

UK Swap Question for this week, I can't remember which number we are up to...

What kind of Spoilee are you? Are you paranoid that it's not being sent, or lost in the post? Do you want it to arrive quickly? OR Do you enjoy the anticipation? Sitting and pondering when it will arrive... and anxiously waiting for it, close to the deadline?

I am a planner. I make many, many plans. Mostly while trying to go to sleep. Or listening to boring people (oops!). I change these plans alot. This is my favourite bit. Then, when I put it in the post, I start to worry. Maybe I should have gone with plan a (ii) rather than plan c (iv). Or maybe my anti-new-wrapping paper stance will be misunderstood as miserly. So I guess I am the anxious type (probably in more than just this area of life!). I think.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend o' yarn

I had a fantastic, yarn-filled weekend, starting with the very exciting news that I won the UFO contest that Ali, over at Skeins Her Way was running in January! So as well as getting a bit of a push to finish my anemois (and just in time for very very chilly times), I also got a surprise! Go check out her site and see what I won - I would be jealous if I were not me.
Then I moseyed into London to catch up with Esmerelda, who took me on a fantastic tour of some of London's knitting delights - IKnit London, All the Fun of the Fair and Liberty. We were both extremely restrained (I know, hard to believe), although I picked up a few nice odds and ends. I didn't need to buy much yarn because the gorgeous Esmerelda gave me a stunning late birthday present - from my new found favourite yarn makers! Can't wait to get this on the needles. Its Natural Dye Studio Dazzle Blue Faced Leicester Sock Yarn, in (I think) midnight blue - the pics are a bit washed out, it is a much stronger colourway. It is divine and cuddly. And I like the sheep picture.
Also, pics of the now-on-hold Hederas - terrible pics, sorry! Again, the colour looks quite washed out compared to 'real life':

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

UK Swap Topic 4

Inspired title. Goes with the inspired blog layout - its horrible, I know, but I just can't seem to find time to get the whole thing organised and looking a bit nicer. Also, I always have trouble putting nice pics in the title bit. Anyway, no promises, but hopefully it will look prettier soon. Back to UK Swap Topic 4: I know this isn't knitting related, but I thought I'd ask you to share your favourite Valentine's Day memory, or your current plans for this year. Just to share some love. :)
I am not a bit Valentines person, and neither has any boyfriend I have ever had. I think I have got a few cards, and maybe even some flowers or chocolate at some time. S & I are big nonbelievers, so we are highly unlikely to do anything! But my brother and sister-in-law got married on Valentines day a few years ago, which is my favourite memory of the day. It was a gorgeous, chilled out beach wedding, and was lots of fun and very romantic.
Anyway, there is sunshine outside my window again today - its almost too good to be true!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

mmmm....NDS yarn

A completely dull and useless post to say how much I LOVE my new socks. I think they are possibly the prettiest socks in the entire history of the world (its hyperbole Tuesday, if you haven't noticed). They are Hedera, in Natural Dyes Studio Mirage yarn, and they are delicious. However, I am nervous they are a little big...I am down to 2mm needles, and they still look a bit loose on the calf, so its possible they might be gifted. Or ripped. Or tolerated despite baginess. But I still love them.
Photos to come (as soon as there is sunshine. And I am home in the day time).

Monday, February 04, 2008


Finished! Anemois are go...
Subtle, woodsmokey kinda colours. I don't think I have ever worn mittens before, but they are toasty warm. And will be perfect for our ski trip in a few weeks. They haven't been blocked, so still a bit lumpy, but I don't mind and they will wear in.

I cast on for some socks for me - three times now! First time wrong pattern, then wrong size, so fingers crossed. But the yarn is beautiful, so doesn't really matter. S asked me the other night why I took yarns that were works of art, and turned them into things that weren't works of art (ie socks). I protested, but in some way he is right - sometimes the yarn looks so beautiful on the skein it seems a shame to knit it into some prosaic item like a sock. But only sometimes. So anyway, currently knitting Hedera with Natural Dye Studio Mirage yarn. Stay tuned.

It has been a bit more chilly here over the past few days, but the plants are still responding to the very mild weather through January, and all sorts of things are going on in the garden! We are planning allotment business again - bought three types of seed potatoes yesterday! Can't wait for new potatoes. We are planning to use much more of our allotment this year - only got around to planting about half of the ground last year. Anyway, I am resigned to a winter without snow here.

Its cold enough to want to have the oven on so we have a hectic schedule of brewing, baking and roasting this afternoon, which should heat things up a bit (and feed and refresh us!). The ginger beer is ready to go - if you are interested in making some yourself (is super easy and you don't need to know how to brew or have much equipment) check out this BBC site.

In the back of my mind, I have decided to rip back the top of the Jo Sharp jacket I have knitted and turn it into a cardigan. It is lovely, but the length is not pleasant on someone of my curves. But am yet to muster the energy. Work has become manic (all my own fault - months of putting my hand up for things has finally caught up with me!), and I am more interested in making things than unmaking them by the time I get some time on the couch. Maybe after the socks. And the baby blanket (said baby is here and happy and gorgeous! Time to get knitting!). And making plans for my nephews birthday present (which should already be in the post! Oops).

Despite how long this post already is, I had started with the intention of answering this weeks UK Swap weekly question, so here 'tis: Q: What is your process when planning a project? Do you shop for yarn and then find a suitable pattern? Do you find your pattern and then go out to buy the yarn? Or are you stash-busting? If your stash is out of control, how did it get that way?

As my stash is pretty modest, and most things that I have that I bought for myself have a probable designated purpose, I often don't have suitable yarn if I see a pattern I like. So if I come across a pattern I love, then I often have to purchase the yarn for it. More often of late, I have found patterns that have suited yarn that I have acquired. I am gradually learning when a yarn is going to suit a certain pattern. Really, my stash is only big enough to keep me going with small projects between bigger, more planned ones. I only really have a stash at all thanks to swaps!